Xplore Rolls Out Tablet PC

By allNetDevices Staff

May 07, 2003

The company's tablet is military tough and can support multiple wireless radios, including 802.11b, CDMA and GSM/GPRS.

Xplore Technologies Tuesday announced the commercial release of a new tablet computer with integrated Wi-Fi and cellular technology.

The company said the iX104-TPC, which uses Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system and is powered by the low-voltage 866MHz Intel Pentium III-M processor, was designed for highly mobile computing applications, or applications with environmental challenges. A version using Windows XP Professional is also available.

"There are two distinct Xplore customer groups that demand a high degree of durability, versatility, performance and mobility in their computing systems," said Richard Perley, senior vice president at Xplore Technologies. "Mission critical customers such as Public Safety, Military and Homeland Security personnel must be able to count on their mobile computing systems to work when they need them, often in challenging operating environments."

The tablet is well-equipped on the wireless front, with multiple internal wireless radio bays that can accommodate both wireless local area network (LAN) radios, such as 802.11b, and wireless wide area network (WAN) radios, including CDMA2000 1XRTT and GSM/GPRS, simultaneously. Xplore said that external Bluetooth and dGPS modules will be available later this year.

Additional external wireless radio options, including TETRA, are available via Xplore's in-vehicle docking system. The docking system allows for an external coax cable connection, thereby allowing the installation of external WAN radio antennas for use in fringe areas or for operation from within enclosed and shielded facilities.

Xplore said the iX104-TPC meets the MIL-STD810F military standard for harsh outdoor or mobile environments, meaning it can withstand extreme temperatures (minus 20 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius), up to 95 percent humidity, a four-foot drop to concrete, water submersion, blowing dust, vibration, altitude, solar radiation and salt fog. The industrial-strength tablet is housed in a multi-tiered internal and external magnesium framing system designed to eliminate any bending or torque of the housing and protect the internal electronics from the elements. The company said a bumper protection system provides defense from shock and drops in 26 different directions, while a vacuum-tested enclosure with compression gaskets secures the internal components.

The 4.45-pound tablet ships with a 4500 mAh Lithium Phosphate battery pack that Xplore said provides up to three hours of operating time; an optional 9000 mAh capacity battery can expand the battery life to six hours. The iX104 incorporates an onboard rechargeable bridge battery so that the main battery pack can be swapped in the field.

The iX104's 10.4" XGA color LCD screen comes in two options; indoor and Hi-Brite outdoor versions. An onboard light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the display, but users can manually override the sensor to manage the amount of backlight they require for their work environment. The tablet also features two different large-area input methods: a six-wire palm-rejection, resistive touchscreen for finger and stylus input; or the Wacom Pen-enabled Sensor technology for use with a specialized digital pen.

Xplore said the tablet supports the use of two external plug-in expansion connectors, known as "XPL" modules. In addition to the dGPS and Bluetooth modules, digital camera and fingerprint scanner accessories are also in development.

Toronto-based Xplore has signed a long-term agreement with Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Wistron to manufacture and market the iX104 series.

Reprinted from allNetDevices.

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